This is not just a cyber problem but it is a society problem. To combat it we need to address it at home, in school and throughout society. It makes me sick at heart to have such incidents occur like the one with Kathy Sierra. My heart goes out to her and I think her blogging about it shows courage. She needs our support. Then some of the conversations that have followed about the incident are alarming in different ways. All the analyzing, second guessing and side issues about the situation take us away for the issue at heart. To me that issue is that some coward has used the anonymity of the Internet to threaten, strike fear, and display totally inappropriate and unacceptable behavior. This type of harrassment is what we have to combat.
This points out how more than ever we need to be given the responsibility for teaching appropriate and responsible behavior on the Internet. We can’t do that if we shut down sites and hide our heads in the sand. We need to start early, have many conversations about safe, responsible, and acceptable behavior online as well as offline. We need to have sites available so that we can encourage and promote good relations, foster understandings, and truly work on nurturing global communities. We also need a society that shuns activities that encourages mean spiritness and laughing at the expense of others. We need a whole lot more press about the good things that are happening instead of an incessant listing of trivia about…well, you get the picture, I know.
Thanks to Scott McLeod for the cyberbully graphics.
Also check out Will’s post today where he says, “I wonâ€™t speak for other parents, so hereâ€™s what Iâ€™ve set as my own path for helping my own kids deal with the inevitabilities of this extremely complex and wide-ranging social issue.” We all should follow that path.